Complexity and Crisis in the Financial System
Show Less

Complexity and Crisis in the Financial System

Critical Perspectives on the Evolution of American and British Banking

Edited by Matthew Hollow, Folarin Akinbami and Ranald Michie

With contributions from across the disciplines of law, history, finance, and economics, Complexity and Crisis in the Financial System offers a truly interdisciplinary study of the relationship(s) between crises and complexity in the US and UK financial markets. Taken together, the contributions in this volume not only challenge many often taken-for-granted ideas about the nature of financial crises, but also broaden our understanding of the long-term causes (and consequences) of the global financial crisis of 2007–2008.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 2: Entrepreneurial failure and economic crisis: a historical perspective

Mark Casson


This chapter analyses the major UK economic crises that have occurred since the speculative bubbles of the seventeenth century. Crises are usually considered to be financial, but historical evidence suggests that their origins are often real. Real effects involve too much investment in some sectors, too little investment in others, and often too much investment overall. These mistaken investment decisions originate in flawed judgements made by entrepreneurs acting under the influence of simple and misleading ideas. The financial aspects of a crisis are often the consequences of a real crisis, aggregated by defaults on fixed-interest debt and the consequent dislocation of the banking system. The evidence suggests that major crises often involve excessive investment in specific sectors that were considered at the time to be of great strategic importance. Whilst some crises were caused mainly by failures of government policies, failures of privately funded schemes created the most serious problems.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.